Drip Irrigation Filters for Gardening & Hydroponics
A drip irrigation filter is an important part of a home garden or commercial greenhouse. Even small particles in the water can cause drip emitters to become clogged. A clogged drip emitter can go unnoticed for a long time and ruin crops. Adding a water filtration system to your existing drip irrigation system will save you time and money over the long run.
There are a few things to think about when choosing an irrigation filter. The most important thing to consider is your irrigation water source. Clean water is water that comes from your home water source or city water supply.
Dirty water is water from ponds, rain barrels, and irrigation canals. Even if you are using “clean water”, it can still contain debris that will need to be filtered out.
Types of Irrigation Filters
The way disc filters work is by passing unfiltered water through a series of stacked, flat, ridged rings. Filtration occurs when water flows between the rings, as any particulate above the size threshold is stopped by the rings.
One of the oldest filtration methods, screen filtration uses a metal mesh or a series of stainless steel meshes. The meshes work together to separate particulate matter from water. The water passes through the mesh, and any particulate larger than the holes in the mesh is stopped. Amiad’s screen filtration solutions can filter from 10,000 micron and down to 10 micron.
Sand separators use centrifugal force to separate various particulate from the water. They are not very common and are usually deployed in systems that pull water from sand-rich wells. The system spins the raw water at a very high speed.
This process causes the sand and other small particle matter to separate from the water. The most common filtration level is usually down to 75 micron, but can go even lower if needed.
Media filters work on the same principles of water filtration that spring water does. Water passes through layers of matter, such as various sizes of sand grades, gravel, activated carbon and other materials. As the water seeps through each layer, the particulate is filtered down according to the predefined needs.
Disc Filters vs Screen Filters
Choosing between a disc filter and a screen filter depends on one main thing. What kind of material you need to filter out of you water supply.
Disc filters perform more efficiently than screen filters when it comes to algae, moss and other organic materials. Because of their design, disc filters are better equipped to filter out finer particles.
These types of particles include bacteria, sand, chemical sludge, and slime. A disc filter is full of round, stacked discs that allow water to pass. These types of filters are very good at catching organic materials.
Disc filters can be removed and sprayed down to clean the discs. These elements may need to be taken apart in order to clean the element thoroughly. Disc filters may seem harder to clean, and they sometimes can be.
However, it would be easier to clean a disc filter from moss and other debris than a screen filter. The organic materials tend to crush on the screen and are hard to remove.
Screen filters are great because they are easier to use and cheaper. These filters work well in removing solids, silt or sediment, leaves, sticks, and snails from water. They are also easily cleaned, as they do not require disassembly to clean the element.
These types of filters are really good at removing various types of debris. But, if the filter element is filling up quickly it could be necessary to add an additional filter. In some cases, multiple filters may need to be used in a system if it is using very dirty or debris-filled water.
Where should you place your filter?
In your irrigation system, your pressure tank should be installed first, followed by your pump, then finally the water filter.
If your irrigation system has a pressure tank, you have to install the water filter after it. If it’s positioned before the pressure tank, its location may negatively impact its efficiency because it won’t be able to backwash automatically. The filter requires a different amount of pressure and flow.
If your irrigation system has a reverse osmosis membrane filter, it should be installed before the booster pump. If you have standard filters, the booster pump should be installed between the first and second stage filters.
In some cases, you may need professional water pump booster installation to upgrade your irrigation system. As its name implies, a booster pump increases the volume and pressure of water that flows to your irrigation system. This brings your water pressure to your desired level, ensuring a steady supply of water running through your system.